• Petitioned Governor Chafee

This petition was delivered to:

Governor Chafee

You said no to the Iraq war, say no to zero tolerance education

    1. Petition by

      WeCanRI.org ~

      Providence, RI

The people of Rhode Island need your help in encouraging Governor Chafee to take the lead in saying no to the top-down, zero-tolerance, corporate-backed take over of public education. Achievement First (AF), a Charter Management Organization (CMO) that embraces a zero-tolerance education model, is currently trying to expand into Rhode Island.  AF, like other zero-tolerance CMO's, supports the use of shunning and harsh discipline to control students, hurts the development of student voice and critical thinking skills, limits parental involvement in teaching and learning, creates high levels of student and teacher attrition, serves few high need students, and drains needed financial resources from traditional public schools (see www.wecanri.net for blog postings, testimonials, and the facts about AF).  

AF has also received large financial backing by national corporate education “reformers” such as the Broad Foundation ($1 million grant) to fund their expansion and lobby public officials to support their application in RI. In addition to money, the Broad Foundation has exerted its influence in RI (and across the country) through the graduates of its academy.  In RI two of those influential graduates, the Providence school superintendent and RI Commissioner of Education Deborah Gist, strongly support AF’s proposal.

Fortunately, RI has a governor with a history of standing up to powerful forces with questionable claims as he did when he was the lone Republican U.S. Senator to say no to the Bush Administration and the authorization of the Iraq war.  However, with the commissioner and AF’s lobbyists spinning the “truth” about AF, he needs your knowledge and encouragement to once again be an example of courage and leadership by saying no to the spread of zero-tolerance, resource siphoning, corporate-backed education "reform" through his rejection of AF's application to operate charter schools in RI.

If you've had a poor experience with an Achievement First school or similar CMO, or have seen education policies pushed through against your community’s wishes, or simply believe that the public voice is vital in public education, please sign this petition and share why you're signing with Governor Chafee.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Bryan Principe PROVIDENCE, RI
      • over 2 years ago

      Dear Governor Chafee,

      Every municipality in Rhode Island needs educational reform. A high performing school system is a fundamental requirement in building a robust economy for the 21st century.

      The people have spoken for real, research based reforms, such as universal, full day pre-k programs, small classes, parental involvement, qualified and experienced teachers, a well-rounded curriculum, and evaluation systems that go beyond test scores, all within a public district that is sufficiently and equitably funded.

      This last point is key, since the Achievement First proposal will perpetuate inequitable funding for Providence district schools. Simply unacceptable.


      Bryan Principe


      Ward 13, Providence

      p.s.- I am one of seven Providence City Council members who have publicly opposed the proposal, while only three members have shown public support for the schools as proposed. ~ bryan

    • Michelle Depot PAWTUCKET, RI
      • over 2 years ago

      We need to focus on coming up with real solutions to education,not throwing money at Charter schools.This will not solve the problem, but create a bigger problem.

      • over 2 years ago

      Elected officials from all four cities/towns have passed resolutions against Achievement First. The significant majority of the public speakers at every public hearing have been against Achievement First. RIDE's own review committee was split 50/50 as to whether or not to move it forward to the Board of Regents. I could go on, but Achievement First should not.

    • Karran Royal NEW ORLEANS, LA
      • over 2 years ago

      These types of reforms in New Orleans have not produced the kind of progress our children need. Furthermore, the rhetoric of success being touted by our former State Superintendent Paul Pastorek and others are smoke and mirrors. Please check out www.researchonreforms.org to for more information about the academic performance of New Orleans public school children 6 years after the takeover of our schools. Our entire state received an F on the most recent Ed Week Quality Counts survey. If the reforms were having the necessary effect and the rest of the state was learning from the so called successes, I would not expect to see such poor outcomes. Don't be fooled, there is no education recovery in New Orleans. You must stop this before it starts. If you don't, you will never be able to get to the business of really helping struggling students.

    • Max Binder PROVIDENCE, RI
      • over 2 years ago

      I've worked to kick off this movement, and I am amazed that finally we're getting something done. Achievement first is a fascist charter school, and supporting it would be a pure abuse of state money.


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